WordPress 5 minute install…

…used to be a category leader in ease of installation. It isn’t now. You can install very powerful CMS software like SilverStripe in under a minute. By comparison, five minutes seems like an eternity.

The SilverStripe installer does away with any database and config file messing around. Just run the install script and bob’s your uncle it creates the database and creates the necessary config files for you.

Just shows how you can’t rest on your laurels in this industry…what was once industry leading is now behind the curve. A five minute install is wonderful til somebody else comes up with a one minute install.

Oh, BTW…Wordpress 2.7 is out (you are using it) and it is great! 😉

Selecting a content management system

One of the great discoveries I made whilst writing this blog has been the ease with which I can create posts using WordPress as the content management system (CMS). It started good and it just keeps on getting better.

I’d love to be able to update content on the rest of the site just as easily. Unfortunately, as things stand at the moment, updating the site means wading waste deep in PHP. All changes to the website need to go through either myself or Dean, slowing things down considerably.

In order to ease the burden of creating content we’ve decided to implement a CMS across the entire site. So far the evaluation list looks like this:

  • Plone – Python/Zope based CMS;
  • Drupal – full power CMS with a full power learning curve;
  • Joomla
  • WordPress – can’t be beaten as a blogging platform but how well does it work as a vanilla CMS?
  • Typo3 – a quirky full power CMS with versioning and workspaces. My fave so far;
  • MODx – a bare bones CMS that is Dean’s favourite;
  • OpenCms – full featured Java based CMS. Kinda like Typo3 without the goofiness.

I will let you know how the evaluation goes. One thing I have noticed with open source CMS, the documentation is king. The Typo3 documentation is the best of the lot that I’ve seen so far. With large complicated systems like CMS you need a way to ease yourself into the software. Surprisingly, only Typo3 has a simple tutorial to setting up your first site for the most recent release. Drupal is an incredibly powerful tool but the documentation needs a lot of work.

Update 1: Added OpenCms, dropped Drupal, Joomla and WordPress.

Update 2: Forgot about Plone…not suitable because we’d not have enough control.

Long comment do follow bug

Any super observant readers may have noticed some problems with the blog comment system. Long comments wouldn’t display properly. The comment author name would appear correctly but the comment itself wouldn’t be displayed.

We’ve tracked it down to being a plug-in problem. I decided to selectively deactivate plug-ins until the comments worked properly again. The SEM Do follow plug-in looks to be the candidate…when I deactivated it long comments went back to being displayed properly.

Thanks to Tarus & Mark for being so patient whilst we worked on the problem.

Popularity Contest Widget

Update 2nd December 2008: The Popularity Contest Widget has now moved to the wordpress.org site. All updates will now appear on the new site.

Popularity Contest is a great WordPress plugin for displaying your most popular blog posts. It powers the Teapot Highlights over on the right hand side of this post. 🙂

One thing missing from Popularity Contest is a widget. We created one for this blog, so we thought we may as well share it for everybody else to use too.

Place the Popularity Contest Widget in your plugin directory (remember to strip the .txt off the end) then go to Presentation > Widgets. You can then drag ‘n drop the widget into your sidebar.

You can edit the title and the number of posts to display. Don’t forget to press the Save Changes button.